MPs to give priority to Constitution Bills

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18 – The Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee has said it will ensure Parliament concludes debate on the Commission on Implementation Bill by Tuesday.

Speaking after a two-day conference on the implementation process at a Nairobi hotel, Committee Chairman Abdikadir Mohammed said the committee would propose that Parliament set aside other legislations until the commission is established.

"We have agreed that with the support of Parliament to conclude the process on the Commission on Implementation Bill so that it comes to the committee stage tomorrow and we support the Minister in moving that process to conclusion," he said.

Owing to the lack of a system-wide vetting procedure that is standard, the committee further agreed on the criteria of appointing and vetting officials to public bodies which according to the chairman will be controlled by a set of rules.

The committee concurred to ensure the conclusion of the process on the Judicial Service Commission by end of the week with Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Mutula Kilonzo being specific that it would be in place by next week on Tuesday.

Mr Mohammed however said the committee was concerned that funding to the constitution implementation process was a real challenge that had to be resolved to move the process forward.

"We need to have budget issues sorted out with the Executive.  We have seen how offices (meant to carry out certain duties) sometimes delay… how do you remove any impediments from this process?" he queried.

According to Mr Kilonzo, the entire implementation process requires about 3.6 billion shillings before the next general election to ensure everything is put in place as required.

The Mandera Central MP also told the media that the committee had come up with a program of its operations and prioritised areas that require urgent action.

The committee will meet again on Thursday to look at the report on the judiciary and discuss with the Finance Minister about the Commission on Revenue Allocation.

Mr Mohammed complained that little attention had been given to the Commission on Revenue Allocation saying it would be one of the major issues they planned to discuss with the Finance Minister.

He said the commission has a deadline of 90 days and required to be treated with the same urgency like the Judicial Service Commission and Commission on Implementation.

The legislator argued that to date, no Bill had been proposed to establish the Revenue Allocation Commission.

JUDIE KABERIA :Judie, an Associate Editor has worked as a journalist in Kenya and Germany. She has a Master's Degree in New Media, Governance and Democracy, University of Leicester (U.K). She has scooped 10 journalistic awards. She has participated in international conferences in Germany, Switzerland, United States and Netherlands. Judie has written a booklet, 'Justice and Peace in the Kenyan Eye'. She has a soft spot for human rights, crime, peace and justice stories.